And so another September has arrived which can only mean one thing……back to school! Summer activities begin to wind down with trips to the beach morphing into trips to Walmart and other department stores for back to school supplies and clothes. The start of every school year also has parents fretting about another upcoming cold and flu season. In days of yore moms would always stock the medicine cabinet with popular over the counter sprays and liquids, marshalling forces to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of germs and microbes that thrive in nice warm rooms with lots of hosts, or children to infect. And even though we have become much wiser in how to fight this battle most children will catch up to 6 colds a year! Common colds are the number one reason why most adults miss work and children miss school.
Bleak as this may sound there are still many safe and necessary practices moms and pops can inculcate in their young ones. First and foremost…..hand washing. The importance of getting into the habit of washing hands is job 1 in this never ending struggle. The most common way anyone catches a cold is through rubbing of the nose or eyes. Young children are especially vulnerable to this and even stick fingers or foreign objects in their mouth! Teach your son or daughter to wash hands for 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice) at least 3 times during the course of a common school day.
Teach kids the “Dracula sneeze.” Rather than sneezing into their hand, which can lead to eventual face rubbing and microbes too close to orifices, show them how to sneeze into the crook of the elbow, similar to Dracula pulling his cape across his face. This is a very effective way to keep germs away from the face as well as the rest of the class.
Unbelievably the germiest spot in school is NOT the toilet seats. Studies showed toilet seats had on average 3200 bacteria per square inch while cafeteria trays sported a whopping 33,800! Toilet seats are washed and disinfected much more and more thoroughly than plastic cafeteria trays. Obviously if a part of your child’s lunch falls on the tray tell him or her to throw it out immediately.
Go to school well armed. Carry products in your backpack like sprays, soaps and hand sanitizers for quick and easy use. Use products, if possible, that are natural and organic, such as Gifts of Nature Cold & Flu spray, a unique blend of jojoba oil, aloe vera and an army of microbe fighting medical grade essential oils, especially lavender and eucalyptus. These 2 oils are the “sultans of swat” when it comes to fighting germs and microbes. Gifts of Nature’s Hand Sanitizer is also a mix of natural ingredients with essential oils. A quick spritz on the hands after recess or after lunch should be part of your child’s arsenal against colds and flu.
Remember….a child’s immune system is not nearly as mature as an adult’s so give them a fighting chance in the struggle against colds and flu.